Photoelectrochemical aptamer-based sensing of the vascular endothelial growth factor by adjusting the light harvesting efficiency of g-C3N4 via porous carbon spheres
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A “signal-off” sensor is described for sensitive photoelectrochemical (PEC) determination of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165). Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is used as the signalling material, and porous carbon spheres as efficient quenchers of the photocurrent. The quenching efficiency of carbon spheres is the result of two effects, viz. (a) the competitive light absorption and (b) competitive electron donor activity which decreases the number of light-generated electrons and holes and also reduces the charge separation efficiency. This new mechanism differs from the previous quenching mechanisms which usually are based on the suppression of electron transport or steric hindrance. A glassy carbon electrode was modified with an aptamer against VEGF165. On binding of analyte (VEGF165), the reduction of current is measured (at a typical potential of 0 V) using H2O2 as the electrochemical probe. The sensor has a linear response in the 10−5 nM to 102 nM VEGF165 concentration range, and the detection limit is 3 fM.
KeywordsPhotoelectrochemical biosensor Light absorption Porous carbon spheres Vascular endothelial growth factor
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21501081, 21675129, 51473136, and 21775124) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (XDJK2017C021, XDJK2018AA003).
Compliance with ethical standards
The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.
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